On Thursday, both Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis & Ryan Garcia agreed to finally meet in the ring sometime next year at a venue to be determined.
The news that most boxing and all casual fans were waiting on finally hit the social media space. Ryan Garcia (23-0) will face Gervonta’ Tank’ Davis (27-0) on a date and venue to be determined in 2023. Don’t get me wrong, this is excellent news for many different reasons, but we must control our excitement for a second as events still have to take place for this super fight to occur.
Before we get into the potential roadblocks, let’s look at this situation as ‘glass half full.’ Garcia is signed to Golden Boy Promotions, and through them he is someone who fights under the DAZN streaming service. Davis is managed by Al Haymon (Premier Boxing Champions), which means Showtime has put on his fights. For a while now, there has been this ‘Cold War’ feeling between Showtime and DAZN, leading to fights not being made that the fans want to see. An example of this occurred this year when Jaime Munguia and Jermall Charlo were rumored to have a deal, and it fell apart because DAZN and Showtime couldn’t come to terms. This is different as there is a lot of interest in this fight from not only purists but also pop culture.
A press release was sent out, and Stephen Espinoza, President of SHOWTIME Sports, had this to say about the fighters announcing the deal:
“Tank Davis vs. Ryan Garcia is one of the biggest and most exciting fights that can be made in boxing. We have two supremely talented boxers, both in their prime, who have amassed huge fanbases, meeting in a career-defining fight. This is the epitome of a crossover boxing event. All credit to Tank and Ryan for staying the course and giving the fans the fight they want. SHOWTIME has delivered the three biggest pay-per-view events in television history, and we are thrilled to add this marquee event to our list of culture-moving matchups.”
Ryan Garcia vs. Gervonta Davis will take place in 2023 with a date and venue to be determined at a later date.
Along with SHOWTIME, DAZN’s EVP, Joseph Markowski, tweeted on Thursday, “As we’ve always said, DAZN will look to broadcast the biggest fights in boxing. We’ve worked tirelessly with our friends at Golden Boy, Showtime, and Team Davis on a deal structure that suits all parties for @Gervontaa x @RyanGarcia. Everyone at @DAZNBoxing is thrilled that an agreement in principle has been reached between the parties. That agreement is subject to contract, which are yet to be exchanged.”
That last part is almost like the fine print on a contract you miss because the letters are so small. The fight is agreed upon, but the pen hasn’t been put to paper to sign this officially. This is always a concern as Terence Crawford and Errol Spence Jr. had “agreed” to a fight, and it fell apart before they could get to the signing stage. We also saw the same with Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua more than a year ago.
The second half of the press release had a quote from the Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions, Oscar De La Hoya. He said, “The fans have been crystal clear that the fight they want is Ryan versus Tank. Golden Boy Promotions and I are proud to be leading the drive to get this fight signed and are excited to get a deal finalized ASAP. It’s high time that those outside the ring stop getting in the way of those who want nothing more than to get into the ring and fight. Our motto has always been that the fans come first, and this is just another example of how we’re leading by example.” Ok, so is the deal not signed? It was a little contradicting to what was being reported by multiple platforms.
Then hours later, De La Hoya decided to go on his Instagram stories to engage with fans about the news. When asked by a fan, “Are you as excited as we are!!” the ‘Golden Boy’ De La Hoya responded, “I’ll get excited when we sign the contract. My job is to look out for my fighter.” This leads me to believe that there is still some work to be done on that end.
But there is more, Davis announced he would be fighting on Jan. 7 in Washington, D.C, against an opponent to be announced soon. Fights that are sandwiched in before a super matchup tend to end up spoiling the best-laid plans. Not saying that will happen here, but with boxing, you never know. Davis also has a trial for a Hit & Run that has been delayed in the past and was scheduled for December 12 but is now slated for February 16, according to Keith Idec from Boxing Scene. After being denied a plea agreement to serve house arrest as the punishment, this case will stand trial, and who knows how that plays out.
The hurdles are significant to get to a point where Garcia meets Davis in the middle of the ring. One can only hope that it all gets worked out and that we get this mega-fight in Las Vegas, NV, in 2023. But if we do, hold on to your seats, as the world will be tuned into this one as it’s an actual 50/50 fight, and no one will be able to pick a winner before the start of the fight definitively.